Sudan ex-president Bashir sentenced to two years in detention for corruption - GulfToday

Sudan ex-president Bashir sentenced to two years in detention for corruption


Sudan's ex-president Omar al-Bashir appears in court in the capital Khartoum to face charges of illegal acquisition and use of foreign funds. File photo/ AFP

A Sudanese court on Saturday convicted former president Omar Al Bashir of corruption and illicit possession of foreign currency and sentenced him to two years of detention in a reform facility.
Sudan's military ousted Bashir in April following months of street protests against his three-decade rule.

Earlier, Bashir is charged with illegally acquiring and using foreign funds.

If found guilty, he could be sent to prison for up to 10 years.

The Khartoum court is expected to hand down its verdict at 10am (0800 GMT).

Bashir was toppled by the army on April 11 after months of mass demonstrations triggered by an acute economic crisis.

He has attended several hearings since the trial began in August, appearing in a metal cage wearing the traditional Sudanese white jalabiya and turban.

At the start of the trial, judge Sadeq Abdelrahman said authorities had seized 6.9 million euros as well as $351,770 and 5.7 million Sudanese pounds ($128,000) from Bashir’s home.

Bashir’s lawyer Mohamed al-Hassan told reporters the ex-president’s defence does not see the trial as a legal case, but as “a political” one.

The trial does not relate to charges Bashir faces at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Bashir has been wanted by the ICC for years for his role in the Darfur war that broke out in 2003, when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against his Arab-dominated government which they accused of marginalising the region.

Rights groups say Khartoum applied targeted suspected pro-rebel ethnic groups with a scorched earth policy, raping, killing, looting and burning villages.

The Darfur conflict left around 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced, according to the UN.

After Bashir was toppled, ICC prosecutors requested he stand trial for the killings in Darfur.

Army generals who initially seized power after the president’s fall refused to hand over the 75-year-old.

But Sudan’s umbrella protest movement, which now has significant representation on a sovereign council that in August became the country’s highest executive authority — recently said it has no objection to his extradition.

Separately, on Nov.12, Sudanese authorities filed charges against Bashir and some of his aides for “plotting” the 1989 coup that brought him to power.

In May, Sudan’s attorney general said Bashir had been charged with the deaths of those killed during the anti-regime demonstrations that led to his ouster, without specifying when he would face trial.

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